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road trip, night 2: Or.Co.

moto | Jan 3, 200603:42 AM

hello, thanks for all the primo's rec.'s. We needed a place open on 12/24 within an easy walk from our Laguna Beach b&b, and ended up with Woody's, 5 min. from our door. They offered four courses for $40 with choices of fish,filet mignon, or breast of duck for the main. Comforting predictability seemed to be the theme, and nothing was great, but nothing failed to be good and that was quite good enough. For a preliminary graze, there was a savory olive spread to go with the bread, tempting to over-nibble,as plenty of rich foods would be coming in a steady stream. The roasted tomato soup with basil and a small spoonful of cream in the middle to richen and tease it a little toward cream of--ness was just right on the chill night. Salad was simple, fresh, unremarkable. We chose the filet and duck, as the fish wasn't local, conventional preparations, mashed with the beef and wild rice with the fowl, both with nicely steamed fresh veg's. The wine list was decent and reasonable, but we had our own bottle(corkage $15) from Solvang, Stolpman vineyard's Rhone-style(grenache-syrah blend '03. This is their highly regarded winemaker's (S.Moorman) cheapest product and quite good in its unbrash youth with a wide range of foods,firm,dry,good fruit,but not overly so in any aspect,med.-full bodied with sufficient acidity to balance rich eats.It retails for $15-16, which is comparable to what the better cotes d.rhone/c.d.r.villages demand now with the weak dollar. Woody's was comfy,cheerful, and conducive to quiet converation, the service caring and attentive without being fussy or fawning. From the excellent dessert options we saw being served we chose chocolate mini-cakes with white choc. shavings and liquor-soaked cherries. A pleasant experience, not one to make a special trip for, but our needs were nicely met. cheers

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